Third-Largest Object

Our probes sent us images of the planet centuries ago. Blues and greens wrapped by wraiths of fluorescent white. A planet of youth and hope. The civilisations were young and under-developed, but they had time. Earth was a special place with special peoples.

We thought it was a technical glitch when the first probe stopped relaying its messages. Unlikely, but possible. Then more of our probes failed; one by one they fell silent. We sent more, some as replacements and other probes to tell us what was happening to the ones we lost. We waited a long time but we heard nothing from any of them.

It’s why we came – to see what our probes couldn’t detect. To find out what had happened, and see whether our help was needed.


Interplanetary contact has always been our way of improving our quality of life. We’ve reached out, made contact and built relationships with our galactic neighbours for generations. Now we have ongoing contact with hundreds of species throughout the galaxy.

Those with whom we communicate now were approached by our forefathers millennia ago. Today we share knowledge with them. And today we reach out to other civilisations so that knowledge can be shared between generations to come. We've learned wonderful things, and we’ve been happy to pass that knowledge on. The universe is becoming a better place.

There’s never any hostility. Those able to detect us and respond to our messages had time to develop the required advanced technology to do it. In that time they also learned to accept the advanced moral logic that hostility is futile for a continued and fulfilled existence.

Finding intelligent life forms in the expanse of space is rare. We’ve learned that some planets – the Earth is one of them – have not only more than one species inhabiting it, but a variation of intelligence within each species.

Personal contact is rare with other species because it comes with great personal cost. The long trans-galactic journeys span three of our generations, but occasionally there is reason to undertake such a journey, like we did to Earth.

The crew of our mission to Earth are volunteers. Most of them have no family, but they are just as kind-hearted and altruistic as those who left family behind for their one-way trip. We hoped that by the time of arrival the Earth’s ci...

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Paul Sterlini
Sep 17 2020

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